Las Vegas, USA, 7th January 2010: Imagination Technologies, a leading multimedia chip technologies company, is demonstrating its latest frame rate conversion (FRC) IP core POWERVR FRC270, a unique solution delivering exceptionally high quality image processing with the industry’s smallest silicon area for motion compensated frame rate conversion up to 240Hz, at CES in Las Vegas from 7-10th January 2010.
POWERVR FRC IP cores enable highly intelligent up-sampling of up to HD resolution content from 24fps to 100/120fps up to 200/240fps, with excellent de-judder and motion de-blur characteristics. The IP core will be shown running in a real-time FPGA-based system.
POWERVR FRC270 sets the highest standard for quality and performance per square millimetre with areas starting at less than 3mm2 in a 65nm LP process. The low silicon area requirements of FRC270 enable chip manufacturers and OEMs for the first time to achieve significant system cost reductions by enabling the integration of FRC capabilities within their SoC designs.. This will significantly improve the video playback viewing experience for consumers for low frame rate source material in TV broadcast as well as handheld camera applications. POWERVR FRC270 is ideal for a wide range of markets including TV, STB, Blu-ray players, mobile phones, and video conferencing.
Says Tony King-Smith, VP Marketing, Imagination Technologies: “Our long association with the digital HDTV industry has enabled us to develop an unrivalled range of display enhancement technologies suitable for consumer TV and STB applications, and POWERVR FRC270 is the latest demonstration of our commitment to the mainstream TV market. With a broad portfolio of IP cores – including frame rate conversion, de-interlacers, skin tone and blue/black stretch engines and more – POWERVR display technologies have it covered. Indeed, an increasing number of Tier one OEMs and specialist TV/STB SoC designers are either already adopting or considering moving away from their in-house technologies to Imagination-based solutions.”
Key features of the POWERVR FRC270 frame rate conversion IP core include:
- Advanced motion search algorithm that ensures accurate vectors, minimising artefacts
- Arbitrary frame rate conversion, from any input frame rate to any output frame rate
- Advanced vector processing to minimise “halo” effects associated with traditional FRC solutions
- Border detection to enhance performance at edges of screens & objects
- Scene change detection to eliminate artefacts caused from interpolation across scenes
- Film de-judder, motion blur reduction and low frame rate enhancement
- Optimal implementation in SoC designs, with very efficient memory subsystem alignment
Enabling Complete SoCs
POWERVR FRC can be combined with POWERVR I2P Interlace to Progressive scan conversion cores and other Imagination display processing IP including IEP (Image Enhancement Processor), PDP (Pixel Display Processor), CADI (Composite Analogue to Digital Interface) and TVE (TV Encoder output) IP blocks to create a compelling comprehensive display enhancement solution for all forms of large format displays.
When combined with licensee’s existing IP, or video processors such as Imagination’s POWERVR VXD decoders and VXE encoders, FRC270 enables SoC designers to implement a complete solution delivering exceptional HD display quality on a single device, replacing the multiple separate chips usually required for FRC, video decode and de-interlacing.
Inside the POWERVR FRC
The core is designed to operate with minimal host CPU load and intervention. It utilises a single memory interface for source and destination frames which is designed to be highly efficient with the latest DDR3 memory devices, as well as older generations of DDR.
The algorithms used in FRC270 automatically adjust to the input format, to optimise the algorithm for SD and HD source material. A sophisticated edge detection algorithm is also used, to refine the output minimizing the ’halo effects’ that plague traditional solutions.
Film material is typically recorded at 24 frames per second but most modern displays require a frame rate of 50-60 frames per second or higher. The traditional method for this 24-to-60 frames per second telecine conversion using a method known as 3:2 pull-down, where film frames are alternately repeated 3 times, then 2 times. This results in a stepped and jerky motion which is increasingly visible to the viewer. Utilising motion compensated interpolation Imagination’s FRC270 is able to recreate the intermediate frames without frame repetition thus avoiding the undesirable motion artefacts associated with traditional methods while retaining the original ‘cinematic feel’ of the source material.
An LCD or flat panel uses sample and hold data converters for each pixel displayed. The eye sees this as constant for the period of refresh of each frame, so as the object moves the eye blurs the image as it cannot follow the movement correctly. The smaller the movement between images the less blur will be apparent. POWERVR FRC270 creates data to reduce the movement between images, removing the blurring effect.
With the explosion in ‘YouTube-style’ user generated video content, consumers have access to material from a wide array of sources, generated by a broad range of equipment that often delivers considerably less than film or broadcast quality source material. For example, mobile video from digital cameras and mobile phones is often shot at frame rates as low as 12-15 frames per second. This gives the viewer a less than optimal viewing experience, as video appears jerky. The FRC270 can significantly improve the quality of this low frame rate material by increasing the rate to 25-30 frames per second or more, delivering smooth motion from low frame rate source content.
About Imagination Technologies
Imagination Technologies Group plc (LSE:IMG) – a global leader in multimedia and communication silicon technologies – creates and licenses market-leading processor cores for graphics, video, multi-threaded embedded processing/DSP and multi-standard communications applications. These silicon intellectual property (IP) solutions for systems-on-chip (SoC) are complemented by strong array of software tools and drivers as well as extensive developer and middleware ecosystems. Target markets include mobile phone, handheld multimedia, home consumer entertainment, mobile and low-power computing, and in-car electronics. Its licensees include many of the leading semiconductor and consumer electronics companies. Imagination has corporate headquarters in the United Kingdom, with sales and R&D offices worldwide. See: www.imgtec.com.